Attachment representations of adolescents in institutional care
Keywords:adolescents, residential care, attachment representation, cannot classify-category
In this study, the attachment representations of adolescents living in residential care are explored. The adult attachment interview (AAI) was carried out with 72 young persons. At the same time the degree of adolescent psychopathology was recorded. For this purpose the caregivers were investigated with a parents' questionnaire on behaviour of children and adolescents (Child Behavior Checklist: CBCL) and the adolescents themselves with a questionnaire for young people (Youth Self Report: YSR). As expected, the young persons in this sample proved to be severely burdened in psychopathological terms. There was virtually no secure attachment representation with an extensive overrepresentation of the 'cannot classify' category. The implications of these findings for the practice of residential care inspired by attachment theory are discussed.